SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The sixth Across Pacific-China Arts Festival kicked off here Thursday evening to bolster closer connections between Chinese and American people.
The opening ceremony, hosted by the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco, was followed by a two-hour performance of the dance drama "Butterfly Lovers," a folktale of the Chinese version of "Romeo and Juliet."
The drama was presented by a group of senior students from China's Beijing Dance Academy with Li Hengda of Seattle-based Hengda Dance Academy as director and choreographer.
The festival, which will last through Oct. 18, 2019, will bring to American audiences Chinese dances, folk songs, acrobatics, visual arts events featuring Chinese and U.S. paintings and drawings, Chinese tourism photo shows, exotic Chinese food, and intangible Chinese cultural heritage.
Chinese Consul General in San Francisco Wang Donghua said the festival is part of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of China-U.S. diplomatic relations.
"Cultural exchanges between China and the United States have played a key role in boosting mutual understanding, trust and confidence between the two peoples," he said.
Wang said the festival is "of special significance" at a moment when U.S.-China ties are facing some problems.
It "offers an important opportunity for American friends to have a better understanding of China and Chinese culture," said Wang.
The festival serves as a platform for U.S. people, particularly those living in California and other U.S. western coastal cities, to work together with their Chinese counterparts to promote the bilateral ties, he said.
California Assemblyman Kansen Chu said the artists from Beijing are really the ambassadors of goodwill who bring friendship to California and the United States at large.
"We are running into some troubles right now because of our trade differences, but I can assure you that California is definitely on your side, because we always want more cultural, business and economic exchanges," said Chu.